Tolerant to Life

Rebecca - Long Beach, California
Entered on March 16, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: purpose

Tolerant to Life

There were papers pasted all throughout the walls; the scent was a distinctive combination of lead shavings and dry erase markers. Ms. Chapman attempted to silence the strident students with her hand bell. It was no use. In the mist of this commotion, Ms. Chapman passed out pamphlets to the class entitled “How to Get Ready for High School.” “High School?” I contemplated.

That evening I rushed home, my stomach pounding. “Thud, Thud, Thud.” I asked my mom in a panic, “What high school am I going to?” I became nervous when she remained quiet. Finally, she responded: “I was thinking of CAMS (California Academy of Math and Science). I hear it is a really good school.”

The following month I was overwhelmed with paperwork: I had to fill out my application, send in my grades, and ask my teachers for recommendations. In addition to this, I had to prepare myself for my interview. I was inundated with work that seemed to be endless.

It was finally here, the day of my interview. I knew I was ready, but couldn’t help to think, “What if something goes wrong?” Despite my fear, I braced myself and walked into the interview room, where I found two middle-aged teachers. As I sat down they started to ask questions putting their complete attention on me. I answered them one after another very confidently. “What is your main weakness? Do you prefer to work by yourself or in a group? What do you want to be when you grow up?” they asked taking turns. When they were satisfied with the information they had gotten, they dismissed me. As the door shut behind me I let out a sigh of relief.

Days after the interview, my mom called the school to ask if I had been accepted. When she came home she told me, “I called, sorry honey you weren’t admitted”. My whole body went numb as my jaw fell to the ground. My mom told me that I would probably be better off at another school, but I couldn’t help it, tears were already rolling down my face. I thought to my self, “What? I thought I nailed that interview?” My mom let me be alone to cope with this harsh rejection. As I started to recuperate from my sobs, my mom came to my side with a packet full of the classes at Los Al. She told me that everything would be alright, and that this just wasn’t meant to be.

My brother constantly says, “What happens in life always happens for a reason.” I have recently come to know that he is right. If we do not fail in life, then how do you expect to know what can be improved next time? And although I didn’t make it to my first choice school I have recently discovered why this came to be: if I would have been accepted to CAMS I wouldn’t be attending Los Al today. I never would have met any of my great friends, or have had any of these great experiences. It is remarkable how something such as this can change your whole life forever.